Слике страница
PDF
ePub

ing their resources and liabilities and publish the same three times in a local newspaper, to secure the people against losses.

The Superintendent of Banking is appointed by the Governor for four years at an annual salary of $6,000. He shall not be interested as officer or stockholder in any corporation under his supervision.

The Factory Inspector.-The duties of this officer are to enforce the laws relating to the employment of women and children in mercantile and manufacturing establishments. He sees that no minor or adult woman is employed in such establishments for more than sixty hours in any week; that no child under thirteen is employed in them at all; that no minor who cannot read and write English be employed unless he produces a certificate of having attended a day or evening school for sixteen weeks in the preceding year; and that the elevators, belts, pulleys and shafts are properly guarded to protect the life and limb of those employed. He also inspects the sanitary arrangements, the means of egress—fire

escapes and doors-and condemns them if not sufficient.

He is appointed by the Governor for three years at a salary of $3,000 and is entitled to a number of assistants, not over twenty, five of whom shall be women.

The Insurance Commissioner.—This officer enforces the insurance laws, and keeps on file a copy of the charters of the various companies doing business in the State. Those from other States must get from him a certificate of authority to do business in this State.

The Insurance Commissioner is appointed by the Governor for three years at a salary of $3,000 per annum.

The Secretary of Agriculture. It is the duty of this officer to promote the development of agriculture, horticul

[ocr errors]

ture, forestry, and kindred industries. He is to ascertain what grains, fruits, grasses, and other crops are adapted to the various soils of the State and to what diseases they are liable. He is also to make a study of stock and poultry for the benefit of the public. He is ex-officio secretary of the State Board of Agriculture and must therefore keep in close relation to the agricultural societies of the State. Another important work of this department is the protection of the forests against fires and other depredations, and the planting of new wood-lands.

The Secretary of Agriculture has four assistants : a Director of Farmers' Institutes, an Economic Zoölogist, a Commissioner of Forestry, and a Dairy and Food Commissioner.

The Secretary and his assistants are appointed by the Governor for a term of four years; the former gets a salary of $3,500; the Director of Institutes, $3,000; and each of the other three, $2,500.

THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT. The Judicial Power.—The judicial power of the State is vested by the Constitution in a supreme court and in the county courts and in such other courts as the General Assembly may establish. When there are disputes as to what a law means when applied to a special case or as to whether a law is constitutional or not, an appeal may be made from the county court to the superior or the supreme court. The decision given in the supreme court is final as well as that given in some cases by the superior court; and in similar cases all the county courts of the State must thereafter follow this decision as long as it is not reversed. Most of the cases before the supreme and

the superior court are brought before them by appeal from the county courts.

It is seen, therefore, that the judicial power of the State is extended to other than the central institutions; namely, to the county court and to the justice's court. But as the judges and o her officers of the county courts are elected by the counties over which their jurisdiction extends, these courts are commonly called county courts, while the superior and the supreme court alone are known as the judicial department of the State. All judges are paid out of the State treasury.

The Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.-The jurisdiction of the supreme court extends over every county in the State and the judges thereof can hold a court of oyer and terminer in any county of the State. There are but few kinds of cases that may be begun in the supreme court. (See Constitution, Article 5, Section 3). Its work is confined almost exclusively to appeals from county courts and the superior court. Either party to a civil suit may make the appeal. A criminal suit may be appealed by the defendant; but he must first obtain permission from one of the supreme justices, a provision which serves as a check against numerous and unnecessary appeals.

The Manner of Trial.—The witnesses are not present at the trial, nor is there a jury. The evidence given before the lower court, and all the other proceedings, are printed in pamphlet form and presented to the supreme court for examination. No new evidence is admitted ; the court simply reviews the case as disposed of by the lower court, hears the arguments of the lawyers, and then gives its decision, which must consist of the opinions of a majority of the justices. From this decision there is no appeal, unless the case involves the constitu

seven

tion or laws of the United States ; in that event there is an appeal to the United States courts.

The Reports of the Supreme Court.-Next in importance to the Acts of Assembly are the Supreme Court Reports. Lawyers and judges must be learned in the latter as well as in the former. The decisions of the supreme court, as long as they have not been reversed, are the law for all subsequent cases of the same nature. They are compiled by the reporter of the supreme court, an officer appointed by the Governor for a term of five

years. The Justices of the Supreme Court.--There are justices. They are elected by the people for a term of twenty-one years, but they are not eligible for re-election. The justice who has been on the supreme bench longest is the chief justice. The sessions are held in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburg to accommodate the different sections of the State. The salary of the chief justice is $8,500 a year; that of the associate justices, $8,000.

The Superior Court.-Owing to the great amount of work to be done by the supreme court, the superior court was established in 1895 to relieve the former.

It has no original jurisdiction, except to issue writs of habeas corpus. It has exclusive and final appellate jurisdiction in all appeals formerly allowed to the supreme court in the following cases:

(a) In all proceedings of any kind in the courts of quarter sessions, except in cases involving the right to a public office.

(6) In all cases of the oyer and terminer courts, except felonious homicide, which is appealed directly to the supreme court. But before either of these two classes of cases can be appealed, the consent of a judge of the superior court must be obtained.

(c) All other actions, claims, or disputes in which the amount involved is not greater than $1,000, except cases brought by the attorney-general in his official capacity, or cases relating to a public office.

But in all these cases there may be an appeal from the superior to the supreme court, if the jurisdiction of the superior court is in question; if the constitution of the United States or its statutes are involved; if the construction or application of the State constitution is involved; or if an appeal in any case is specially allowed by the superior court.

The manner of trial is the same as that of the supreme court; and a record of its proceedings is likewise kept and published by the State.

The superior court consists of the same number of judges as the supreme court, namely, seven. They are elected by the people for a term of ten years. The judge who has been longest on the superior bench is the chief judge. The sessions are held in Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Harrisburg, Scranton, and Williamsport, at least once a year in each city. The salary of the judges is $7,500 per annum.

ANALYTICAL REVIEW.-Explain the necessity of the tripartite form of government. What is the reason for having two houses in the General Assembly? What should be the purpose of our laws? By what is the validity of a law tested? Why are U. S. Senators elected by the Legislature? Explain apportionment. Why don't the counties and the townships fix the salaries of their officers, just as the cities and boroughs do? How does a bill become a law? What do you know of the sessions of the Legislature and the compensation of its members? What is the difference between the presiding officers of the two bodies? Between the num ber of members? Name the executive departments required by the constitution. By statute. What State boards have been organized? Chief duty of the Governor? Duties incidental to the

« ПретходнаНастави »